Review: Enforcer – Death By Fire

Enforcer – ‘Death By Fire’
Out Now

By Alle Royale

Many of you don’t give a monkey about heavy metal, some of you look at it like at a dinosaur in a museum, one of you, or maybe two, is sporting a Judas Priest t-shirt in this very moment. What many and then some of you don’t know is that heavy metal is pretty much alive and kicking, and healthier than ever;  I’m not talking about Nu, Industrial, Brutal, Sludge, Budgie On High Tension Wires Metal, but real heavy metal, the one you could still blame Chuck Berry for. A new wave of very young bands, with the right sounds and attitude, is emerging from the tumultuous seas of the worldwide underground scene; all the way from Sweden, arrive the leaders of the pack, the amazingly fit for fight, Enforcer. 

After the unexpected departure of original composer/guitarist Adam Zaars, I must admit of being vey sceptic about the success of “Death By Fire”, their third record, but how wrong I was; with singer Olof Wikstrand now handling both vocals and guitar duties, the band is back at the very top of their powers, which are not few. Instead of perpetuating the stylistic line traced by the more melodic approach of their previous album “Diamonds”, the quartet has returned to the raucous speed metal form of the incendiary debut album “Into The Night”.

Try to imagine a lethal mix of early Iron Maiden, circa “Killers” era, and early Motley Crue when they were still shouting at the devil, and this should give you a reliable picture of the riot going on in these grooves. Short songs full of balls ‘n’ attitude, but also technically and melodically intense in the guitars department; sprinkle the platter with a massive sense of juvenile delinquency, and vocals flying high where eagles dare, et voilà: one of the best rock records of the year.  

For sure Enforcer spent a lot of time digging in their older brothers’ record collections, and you could easily mistake “Death By Fire” for an album coming from the original era of turntables and inner sleeves; but at the same time, it sounds so fresh, inspired and dangerous that you couldn’t fault crowning these Swedes the new kings of cool. 

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